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Disney VP on The Value of Mentorship and Consistency

Episode overview

In this episode of finding career zen, special guest Kathi Riddle joins Pete Newsome to share her journey and the lessons learned throughout her 27 years with The Walt Disney Company.

Growing up and attending college in Oklahoma, Kathi accepted a position after graduation to work as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche. Three years later, she realized that she wasn’t happy with the career path she had chosen. It would take a leap of faith to chase after her dreams, but with the encouragement and support of a career mentor, Kathi believed she could achieve her goals.

So, she packed her things and moved across the country to Orlando, Florida to work for Disney, her dream company. Today, Kathi is Vice President, Business Process and Transformation of Disney Consumer Products, Games, & Publishing; a role and title she earned through years of dedication, effort, and consistent performance at the highest professional level.

Tune in to this episode for exceptional advice on how to make your dream career a reality.

Connect with Kathi here!

62 minutes

View transcript

Advice for navigating the world of business

When you can pursue your dreams, you should

That sense of urgency and ticking clock that so many young people feel pressure by isn’t real. It is so rare to find something you genuinely want to do, so if you find it, pursue it. 

Understand the value of a mentor

A mentor can be a family member, expert in their field, or leader of a company. Look for these people and value them. They will give you good advice and some even have influence to help you get to the next level. 

Earn respect

Respect isn’t given, it has to be earned. Your seriousness and passion towards your career will be noticed. 

The same path doesn’t work for everyone

Your path may change along the way and that is okay! You don’t have to have it all figured out based on a specific timeline. Where you are does not have to be where you will end up. 

Ambition breeds optimism

You have to believe it’s achievable or where would your ambition be? Your enthusiasm will separate you from everyone else. Everyone has the potential to show that kind of drive and effort, but very few actually do it. 

Believe in yourself

Have confidence in yourself and take risks. And for women, you are just as smart and just as good because you’re a female. You can do anything your colleagues can do!

Additional resources

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome headshot

Pete Newsome is the President and founder of zengig, which he created after spending two decades in staffing and recruiting. He’s also the founder of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed and award-winning staffing and recruiting firm he started out of a home office in 2005. Pete’s primary mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way; with a commitment to zengig becoming the most comprehensive source of expert advice, tools, and resources for career growth and happiness. When he’s not in the office or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his career knowledge and expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Finding Career Zen & Hire Calling podcasts.


Pete Newsome  00:15
You’re listening to the finding career zen podcast. I’m your host Pete Newsome. And my guest today is my good friend Kathi Riddle, who’s the Vice President of Business Process and Transformation with Disney consumer products, games, and publishing.

Pete Newsome  00:27
Kathi, that’s all I’m going to say right now about your bio, because, it would be much more interesting to hear more from you. 

Pete Newsome  00:32
But how are you today? Thank you so much for joining.

Kathi Riddle  00:35
I am good. I’m excited to be here, thanks for having me.

Pete Newsome  00:38
Of course. 

Pete Newsome  00:39
So I thought about this earlier today that we’ve been friends for about 10 years now. I was going backward. We know each other through our boys who are the same age and are now in college, but they started, I think it was when they were in fifth grade when we first started hanging, around you guys and joining the crew. 

Kathi Riddle  01:01
That’s awesome, good times. 

Pete Newsome  01:03
Yeah, so one of the things that I know I’ve always picked your brain about, and whenever we’ve been together is your journey through the years with Disney and to get into the position you’re in now because it is something that I absolutely could never do.

Pete Newsome  01:20
0% chance that I could. 

Pete Newsome  01:24
No, I think about it a lot. And I mean this, that you have been with Disney for 27 years. 27 years, right? 

Kathi Riddle  01:34
That’s right. 

Pete Newsome  01:35
I mean, when you look back on when you first started, did you ever imagine that you would have a career that long with one organization?

Kathi Riddle  01:43
Yeah, it’s funny that you asked that Pete. When I got the job, I was 25. And I was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And I’d never lived anywhere else. I was single, with no kids. 

Kathi Riddle  01:56
I was not sure that I wanted to move away from home. I was still living with my parents. And I told myself, I’m going to try this for a year. You know, Disney was always my dream job. And when I got the job, I was like, oh, no, I really, I really do have to move away from home. 

Kathi Riddle  02:12
And so I told myself, I’m going to give myself a year. And I’m not going to let myself quit or move home for a year. And after a year if I still love it, I’m going to stay. And here I am you know, 27 years later, It certainly it hasn’t been all perfect. But it certainly lived up to my dreams and expectations for sure.

Pete Newsome  02:34
And somewhere along the way, your parents realize you weren’t coming back. So they came. 

Kathi Riddle  02:39
They moved here. 

Pete Newsome  02:40
So you grew up in Oklahoma. You went to college at Oklahoma State, and then you work for Deloitte. Well, really because your boys and your husband wouldn’t say.

Kathi Riddle  02:51
We are Crimson Tide fans of course, first and foremost.

Pete Newsome  02:55
So congratulations on that. 

Pete Newsome  02:56
Now you have not only your oldest already a rising junior at Alabama, but now you’re going to have two when Camden’s there in the fall. So that’s very cool. 

Pete Newsome  03:06
Well, we’ll talk offline about how you and Terry gonna spend your time now that you have no one home. But that’s a different day. 

Pete Newsome  03:15
But I didn’t realize you after college, I know you went to work for Deloitte, which is a feat in itself. So you were clearly on a great track, but you worked in Oklahoma, so I didn’t, I thought that’s what brought you to Orlando?

Kathi Riddle  03:29
No, Disney brought me to Orlando. So I graduated from Oklahoma State in 92. I had a business degree double major in accounting and Spanish and then went to work for Deloitte and Touche in their audit department became a CPA, and did that for about three and a half years before I decided to move to Orlando.

Pete Newsome  03:49
Okay, so this was a huge move, and you really had no reason to expect that this would be where your life would lead.

Kathi Riddle  03:58
No idea. It’s funny how life works out.

Pete Newsome  04:01
Yeah, it’s for sure. 

Pete Newsome  04:03
And that’s one of the things that I’m really enjoying about the conversations I’ve had so far since starting this podcast recently for the new company that I was just telling you about zengig is that no one really can predict their path. 

Pete Newsome  04:17
You may have a plan. You could write it down or a dream but to predict it, is certainly that far in advance is an impossibility. But you did say that Disney was your dream job. When do you think that first came to mind?

Kathi Riddle  04:35
I think probably in grade school, you know as most not well, maybe not most but a lot of kids do. You know they visit Disney with their family. And they think oh, that would be so cool to work here. 

Kathi Riddle  04:47
And it just kind of stuck with me. And then I visited again when I was actually doing a financial audit of a company in Georgia. And you know went down to Disney for the weekend. 

Kathi Riddle  05:00
When I was with Deloitte and Touche and visited again, that’s when it really hit me like, like, what am I doing? I am specializing in manufacturing in Oklahoma. Like, It was not my dream.

Pete Newsome  05:13
Not what you were dressing up for Halloween? 

Kathi Riddle  05:17
And so it was funny. 

Kathi Riddle  05:19
One of my colleagues that I was doing the audit with had a friend who worked at Disney in their internal audit department. And he was like, you know, if you’re serious about this, I’ll connect you guys. And maybe it’ll turn into something. And sure enough, it did.

Pete Newsome  05:33
I love that message, especially right now. Because as parents of young people who are trying to figure out their path and where it’s going to begin. We just had this discussion the other night, when we were together, there’s a sense of urgency that they feel. 

Pete Newsome  05:51
There’s a clock ticking, that we know, they don’t know, they don’t believe us, probably when we tell them that clock isn’t real, you know, it doesn’t really exist. 

Pete Newsome  06:03
And if you can find something that you want, genuinely want to do that piques your interest that you’re willing to throw yourself into 100%, there’s no question that that’s the thing you should pursue, right? I mean, I believe in that pretty strongly. Do you agree?

Kathi Riddle  06:20
I do, especially when you’re young. And you can, you know, as I mentioned, when I moved to Disney, I was 25. I was single, I didn’t have any kids, and when you can, when you can pursue your dreams, you should. 

Kathi Riddle  06:36
And typically, I think that’s when you’re younger before you settle down and have lots of commitments. And so that’s the time to figure it out and to take those risks.

Pete Newsome  06:47
But did anyone give you advice along the way? Or was it something that, did your parents encourage you to do? Did you have a mentor? Or did you just pursue that really on your own?

Kathi Riddle  06:59
I think, in the beginning, I pursued most of it on my own. I don’t think I realized the value of mentorship until I was later on in my career. I don’t know if I didn’t? 

Kathi Riddle  07:14
Well, I take that back a little bit. I had a college professor at Oklahoma State, he was head of the accounting department. And he was a huge influence on what I wanted to do, you know, after college, and he helped really guide me through the whole recruiting process went, you know, when I eventually chose to go work at Deloitte and Touche, he was a big help in that. 

Kathi Riddle  07:38
And then I think after that, I kind of figured it out or tried to figure it out on my own. You know, in my 20s, I don’t think I realized the value of a mentor or sponsor until later on in my career, probably, you know, in my mid-30s, or so.

Pete Newsome  07:56
That’s, interesting. I’ve, never had that. But I do see the value in it and I think it’s really powerful. Do you think that person, that mentor can be a family member? Can it be parents, or does it have to be someone from outside?

Kathi Riddle  08:12
I think it can be a family member or a parent, I tend to, based on my own experience, I tend to think someone who’s outside of your family, maybe you listen to a bit more or you have right or wrong, you may respect them a little bit more because you view them as an expert in their field. 

Kathi Riddle  08:31
And that’s who most of my mentors or sponsors were. And they were experts in their field, or they were, you know, a leader in my company, maybe my leader, maybe, you know, a different leader in the company, but in a different organization. 

Kathi Riddle  08:46
But they also, this is something that I also look for and value, they have influence. So not only can they give you good advice, but they have influence in the organization that can help you get that next role or get to the next level. 

Kathi Riddle  09:04
And, you know, I don’t mean to sound selfish, you know, what’s in it for me. But I think if you can find a mentor or sponsor that not only gives you good career advice but can also do something more to help you get to where you want to be, you know if they have that ability to influence your organization. 

Kathi Riddle  09:24
That’s, extremely powerful.

Pete Newsome  09:27
It’s, natural, if it happens that way, as well. 

Pete Newsome  09:31
I gave some advice about a year ago to my niece who was just graduating from college, and she had something that she really wanted to do but no opportunities were presenting themselves that you needed experience and you know, that you know, old story. 

Pete Newsome  09:45
And so I told my sister and brother-in-law to close their ears and I said, look, here’s the advice that I will give, go find the best person that you know of who does what it is you want to do and go off. 

Pete Newsome  09:56
Go off to work for them for free for six months. Go sweep their floors, wash their car, anything, whatever it is, and they won’t have you actually do those things, I’m sure maybe. But that kind of commitment and willingness to go sleep in your car for six months, go wait tables at night if you have to overnight, do whatever you have to do to pursue that. 

Pete Newsome  10:19
And who’s going to say no to that? I mean, I know this is off-topic. And this is far from a formal mentorship. But if someone approached me with that, I would smile, I fall over it right with that kind of passion and ambition. So from someone who’s not young, that would mean that it’s almost a given that would be rewarded many, many times over.

Kathi Riddle  10:42
Yes, for sure. I agree with you, I did not have that opportunity. But I think that’s great advice, I would certainly recommend that as well.

Pete Newsome  10:52
So fast forward two years, and your oldest comes to you and says, I’m gonna go live in my car for six months and work for free for someone, can you go on record right now and say that you’d be happy about that?

Kathi Riddle  11:08
I think I would respect it. And I would be supportive. You know, it may not be what I would choose for him to do. But I would also be thrilled if he had a, you know, passion. 

Kathi Riddle  11:21
And when I say figured it out, he might not have figured it out. But at least he has a direction and a passion. And he’s doing something to figure it out. I would certainly be supportive of that, for sure.

Pete Newsome  11:33
I think what you just said, I could not agree more. And it’s really neat to hear you say it because when you say the word respect, that is meaningful, that to me, you know when you look at a young person who in young professionals, young people want respect. 

Pete Newsome  11:51
But I think too often today, they’re not willing to earn it, they want it without having done anything to deserve it. And for folks who look, when we look at our personalized professional lives, respect is something that sure you could grant it to some degree going into a relationship. 

Pete Newsome  12:11
But along the way, it really does need to be earned to that respect to increase or to be at any significant level. And I think that’s a really, really tough thing for young people to learn how to earn it. 

Kathi Riddle  12:24

Pete Newsome  12:25
So that kind of conviction that if someone brought I mean, I agree with you, 100% of one of mine, one of my kids did that out, no matter what it was, if they came with that level of seriousness and passion, and they were willing to do something like that. How can you not respect it? Right?

Kathi Riddle  12:42

Kathi Riddle  12:42
So did your niece take your advice? 

Pete Newsome  12:44
No, and I don’t think, it’s a hard thing where you ask young people to go from, for the most part not being too worldly. Now yours, we’ll talk about that a little bit. You’re a little different experience and most in that respect. 

Pete Newsome  13:04
But to make a decision, I don’t think they’re very equipped to go choose a profession, go to college, choose a path and stay on it, right? Because if you go off the path, you’re going to be judged, and they’re worried about that. 

Pete Newsome  13:19
Which sounds insane. To me where you go, they’re so ill-equipped to make those decisions. 

Pete Newsome  13:22
Except for those few who, for whatever reason have latched on to that thing that does get them excited that they’re willing to make sacrifices for me, that being the goal, I just don’t think you can just wave a magic wand and say, okay, here’s the time because you just turned 18 Or just graduate from high school, you have to choose, it just seems kind of illogical to me.

Kathi Riddle  13:48
Right. The same path does not work for everyone.

Pete Newsome  13:53
No, and it changes. And so in my niece’s case, I think it was just happening, I think that it wasn’t something she was passionate about, it was just the thing that she was most interested in at that moment. 

Pete Newsome  14:03
And the good news is she’s found something that she is really interested in without having to live in a car for six months.

Kathi Riddle  14:10
So my younger one may be in that same situation a few years from now, you know, he wants to study marine biology. And you ask, you know, you ask them why and what does he want to do? And he’s like, you know, I just want to swim with the fish. Well, I don’t know if you can make money swimming with the fish, but we shall see.

Pete Newsome  14:27
So let’s explore that a little bit. Because all of this is about achieving career success, what we’re calling career zen, and there’s probably not a whole lot of money associated with that. 

Pete Newsome  14:41
But is that okay? If that’s what’s going to make him happy to wake up every day and get to spend his waking hours and make a living, well, however, that turns out. I mean, isn’t that really the goal to some degree?

Kathi Riddle  14:59
I think so. I think so, you know, I think the reality he’s going to have to come to grips with is, if he’s doing that every day, will satisfy his passion. Right? 

Kathi Riddle  15:12
But will he also be happy for the rest of his life and not make much money? You know? Or will he need to figure out how to do both, how to swim with the fish, and make more money at it?

Pete Newsome  15:25
Yeah, I think there’s a point, for better or worse, whereas life evolves, you realize that there’s a certain amount of money that’s necessary. And you have to figure out where that balance is. 

Pete Newsome  15:40
Now, whether you choose that you need more and want more to have the options that come with it, that’s its own thing. But I think there’s a minimum in our society that you just got to stay above where life is really, really hard from day to day.

Kathi Riddle  15:56
And I think the minimum is different for different people, you know, I think, you know, our children, the minimum is probably a little bit higher than you know, than it is for other kids just because of how they grew up and what they’re used to.

Pete Newsome  16:07
And that’s something that you and I also spoke about, is that we both came from, I’ll just say humble beginnings and, didn’t really have a lot of the things that our kids have grown up with. 

Pete Newsome  16:22
However, since we’re talking about your kids, let’s stick with that for a minute and then talk about their life. But how concerned are you about their ability to adjust to that when they’re out on their own?

Kathi Riddle  16:34
Oh, it may be a harsh reality for them. I don’t know. And I think it depends on what they choose, you know, what they choose to do with their lives and what they choose to pursue. 

Kathi Riddle  16:49
You know, I think my older one, Carter is already worried about it, you know, how is he going to afford all the things that he has today? 

Kathi Riddle  16:58
He thinks as soon as he graduates, I think he believes he has to have the same lifestyle that he has today, and has no idea how he’s going to make that happen. And I think you know, I think that keeps them up at night. My younger one is just like, yeah, whatever, I’ll figure it out.

Pete Newsome  17:15
Well, it’s just a better way to be.

Kathi Riddle  17:19
I’m not sure either.

Pete Newsome  17:20
Do you think either of them has an appreciation for where you were and what you’ve had, you know, how hard you’ve had to work over a long period of time to get to where you are today? 

Pete Newsome  17:33
So it’s not like you rolled out of bed and boom, you’re very successful, and professional, that came one day at a time over many, many years. Do you think they get that?

Kathi Riddle  17:44
I don’t, I’m not sure that they do. They, you know, they talk a lot about, since they’re in college or entering college, my husband and I talk a lot about like our college experience. And that maybe that hasn’t been a good thing, because I think they look at me and I say, I studied all the time I got, you know, almost all A’s. But I didn’t have a lot of fun. 

Kathi Riddle  18:09
You know, I wish I could go back today and go back and do it again, maybe not have all A’s, but I’d have a little bit more fun. But it did get me it got me the job at Deloitte and Touche, which then helped me get the job at Disney. 

Kathi Riddle  18:22
I mean, I certainly benefited from it. It wasn’t a waste of time. And then when you look at my husband’s college career, you know, he played football at the University of Alabama, that they can’t duplicate that either. 

Kathi Riddle  18:37
And so I think they look at my college experience and my husband’s college experience. And sometimes I think maybe they get worried or frustrated. Because they’re probably not going to follow either path, right? So then so what do they do you know that I think that begs more questions than answers. 

Pete Newsome  18:57
Well, you’re welcome to come to see me anytime to talk to someone who wasn’t getting all A’s and wasn’t playing football.

Kathi Riddle  19:05
Look at you today, you’re still successful, it’s okay. 

Pete Newsome  19:08
Well, it is the ambition and the drive and motivation was sort of beneath the surface until it was and then it kicked in. And I talked about pretty openly with my kids that it didn’t kick in. 

Pete Newsome  19:22
And throughout most of college, it was right before I left and I do think about that. 

Kathi Riddle  19:28
It is normal, especially for boys. 

Pete Newsome  19:30
It is it, yeah. Oh, sure. 

Pete Newsome  19:34
I wish I could do it differently. And it’s a hard thing to say because I’m thankful for where I am now, the life that I have. And so I wouldn’t be willing to trade it. But if I could go back and have those thoughts and ideas planted in my head sooner. I wish I could do that. 

Pete Newsome  19:56
But yeah, so we can’t and so we try to pass on the best advice we can to our kids, for better or worse, I think that’s um, I’m always fascinated by that.

Kathi Riddle  20:07
I worry sometimes, Pete, that passing on my experiences or our advice, does put more pressure on them? You know, does it make it worse? Or is it helpful? And I’m not sure.

Pete Newsome  20:20
You know, I think parents worry about that pretty frequently these days. And almost too, I think the pressure is good. Kids can handle pressure, and you have to set the bar somewhere, you can’t rise to it. And so far, so good with yours? Right? I think you should feel good about that. 

Pete Newsome  20:45
But where they end up is so far from being determined by from where they are now. And I think that’s what is really hard for young people to understand is that it’s not about where you end up. 

Pete Newsome  21:00
It’s not even about where you are today, it’s about are you heading in a direction that will ultimately lead to where you want to be? And as long as you’re doing that, and I don’t care if you’re 20? Like, our oldest boys are? Or are 30? It’s not? It’s not too late. There’s no too late take for that to kick in.

Kathi Riddle  21:17
Right, that’s good. I think that’s an important message for, you know, for young people, for college kids just out of college to hear and remember that you don’t have to have it all figured out right now.

Pete Newsome  21:31
Yeah, so we’re speaking about 10 days before zengig, the website is going to launch. And one of the things that we’re going to communicate on the site for younger people is whether college is necessary today. And whether that traditional path is one that needs to be explored. 

Pete Newsome  21:51
I tend to if I don’t think our education system as a whole, is not what I or anyone else probably would create if they could start over and do it with a clean slate. 

Pete Newsome  22:05
But what is your thought on that? Because you’re someone who, clearly you have your MBA education has probably played a role. I don’t want to assume this, but in you getting to the level you are now I don’t know if you could have without a bachelor’s degree, let alone a master’s? Right. Where do you stand with that?

Kathi Riddle  22:24
Yeah, I think it is necessary slash required, maybe, use the word extremely helpful, but maybe not necessarily for what you might think. I don’t think, I think the classes and the education, you know, having to take whatever accounting and statistics and finance, whatever. Sure, that is that that is important. 

Kathi Riddle  22:50
And that’s a solid foundation. But I do a lot of mentoring for college of business students at the University of Alabama and Oklahoma State. And I have kind of been out of the school sector, you know, for many years, but in the past five or six years, got back into the relationships with these universities, and with the students. 

Kathi Riddle  23:13
And when I meet them in person, speak to them or join them as a group, and then meet the professors who are guiding these students, I am blown away by the opportunities that these universities offer and present these students. 

Kathi Riddle  23:28
So you know, the clubs, the organizations, the networking connections, I mean, just the fact that you know, they have someone from Disney coming to speak, you know, at their conferences, and not just Disney, they provide the networking and the connections to these leaders and all of these companies that you wouldn’t necessarily you wouldn’t have all of these operates, or you talk about foreign, you know, studies abroad.

Pete Newsome  23:54

Kathi Riddle  23:54
There are a ton of opportunities outside of the classroom, that I think traditional colleges provide, in addition to the learning inside the classroom.

Pete Newsome  24:03
That’s a great point. And I’m glad you mentioned it, because it is something that is you know, for my opinions, and we look to give advice, that’s a huge piece of it that I haven’t considered lightly and that I’ll probably come back to you later for some more insight on that because we want to be able to guide young people as best we can. 

Pete Newsome  24:25
And, you know, not all colleges are alike. Not all college experiences, but some, you know, offer those kinds of things more than others, I suspect. It’s not something I’ve looked at yet, but I’m going to make a note of it for sure. 

Pete Newsome  24:35
And we will come back to it. When you interact with these folks, I assume that they’re pretty ambitious to some level that they’re in that program and taking advantage of it because, yeah, I think a lot of students as we were just talking about, just because it’s offered doesn’t mean they’re taking advantage of it. 

Pete Newsome  24:54
I wouldn’t have at that age. Fortunately, I wouldn’t have even known fit existed broadly. But what do you think? What’s their outlook? I mean, are they optimistic? Are they not? I mean, this is a pretty crazy world we’re in these days. I mean, what are those young ambitious future leaders thinking?

Kathi Riddle  25:14
Yeah, good question. I always answered, first start answering that question by saying, I think the students that I have exposure to are the top like the best of the best, I think they’re the cream of the crop, you know, the top of the class because they wouldn’t be in these special programs or in these graduate programs if they weren’t. 

Kathi Riddle  25:36
So they’re all pretty optimistic there. And I think ambition breeds optimism, you know, and I think they have a ton of ambition. They know that they may not know exactly what they want to do. But there’s one particular lady that I think of, and I stalked her all the time to talk to her again. 

Kathi Riddle  25:56
The other day, she just graduated from the University of Alabama, and her dream was to work for Disney. And the first time we met was when she was a sophomore, and she got her accelerated master’s degree in marketing. And she would put it in her calendar, and she would contact me every quarter without fail. 

Kathi Riddle  26:16
From the big first day we met. And when she was coming to Orlando, she got on my calendar, when there was a home game in Alabama, she got on my calendar, and kept that connection. And she just started working for our demand division in New York City about a month ago. 

Pete Newsome  26:35
That is so cool.

Kathi Riddle  26:38
And she was ambitious, and she pursued it relentlessly.

Pete Newsome  26:42
That is so, told you right, before we started recording that we typically find a couple of clips that we want to edit out and have a stand-alone to share. And I think that’s the one because that’s the kind of story that you can hear. 

Pete Newsome  27:03
And you can choose to act on it, but most won’t. 

Kathi Riddle  27:07

Pete Newsome  27:07
But it has to be told, you have to know that those opportunities exist, and whether it’s that scenario, or like we were saying go volunteer to work for someone for free. 

Pete Newsome  27:19
I think it’s all sort of the same thing. And you said ambition breeds optimism. I’ve never heard that said before. I don’t know. Is that from something? Is that your own?

Kathi Riddle  27:29
I just made it up.  

Pete Newsome  27:31
I’ve never thought of that.

Kathi Riddle  27:33
When you’re ambitious, I don’t know how you can’t be optimistic. 

Kathi Riddle  27:38
You got to believe that it’s achievable. Or what would your ambition be?

Pete Newsome  27:45
Yeah, that’s so true. I mean, those things are so closely tied. And I would even say I’d add a third word that I think about a lot of enthusiasm. Where if you’re bringing that and the person who would call you relentlessly, and is that enthusiasm has to be there, too, right? 

Pete Newsome  28:04
It’s all kind of the same thing, which is, I guess, maybe that’s what ambition is, to some degree, right? 

Kathi Riddle  28:13
Every time we talked, should ask me, what else do I need to know? What else do I need to do? Can you recommend three more people at Disney that I can network with? Would you do an introduction? 

Kathi Riddle  28:26
So a virtual introduction, so I can schedule a meet and greet with them? I mean, every time it was, can you give me three more people? And she built her network and her connection at Disney, like, you know, so fast. And I think that was significant in her getting that job in New York.

Pete Newsome  28:43
I think that’s such an important message for young people that you will stand out from the crowd, and it doesn’t. Are your grades important? Sure. Is your degree important? Yes, to have certain doors opened. 

Pete Newsome  28:57
But those things that you just described, that’s what really separates an average person from a great one. And once again, that opportunity, everyone has that potential to show that kind of drive and effort. Very few do. 

Pete Newsome  29:18
So what do you I mean, do you have any idea where that came from within her like? Is that just who she is? Because if you could bottle that up and sell it as a potion, that’s what the world is trying to achieve.

Kathi Riddle  29:33
You know, I think, um, you know, she and I had an interesting conversation just the other day about this, and I was telling her how impressed I was that like, you know, she was sitting in her apartment in New York, she has many more dreams to achieve, but this was one of them and how proud I was with her. 

Kathi Riddle  29:49
But she talked about, you know, when she was in college, at the University of Alabama. She was there for money that her grandparents had left her. And that’s what paid for her tuition. You know she had a part-time job as well. But her parents didn’t have the money to send her out of state. 

Kathi Riddle  30:09
Now, if she was so smart, I’m sure she got lots of scholarships, too. But she said that weighed very heavily on her, she felt like she had a huge responsibility to be successful because her grandparents left her the money for her education. That was a driving force for her. In addition to her passion and her ambition of what she wanted to do with her college degree.

Pete Newsome  30:36
Oh, man, well, I might ask you to connect me with her at some point. Let her tell her story yourself. 

Kathi Riddle  30:42
yeah, she’s awesome. She’d be a great one for you to interview.

Pete Newsome  30:45
Yeah, I’m very conscious of that folk our age, It’s wonderful to talk to people who have achieved success. And just like you can tell your kids or I could tell my kids about working around the clock and, you know, 70-hour work weeks and all those things. 

Pete Newsome  31:01
But it gets to sound stale, I think at some point, and when you hear it from someone who’s closer to their age, who’s recently done, and who’s living it, I interviewed a young guy, two weeks ago whose history was play football at FSU. 

Pete Newsome  31:18
And he tried to walk on multiple times, and he applied multiple times, but it was rejected. He was even told once he was on the team, and he showed up in August, there would have been a coaching change. This was a few years ago, and they didn’t know who he was at and gave a talk about a shot to the gut. 

Pete Newsome  31:34
And he stuck with it. And he worked. And so the reason I asked him to come on, was I did not know a lot of that story. What I didn’t know was while he was on the team, he was paying for his own way through college and he left practice, and as you know, a big college football fan, and from your husband’s experience, that is as much a job as anything else just to play while you’re trying to get grades and be a student. 

Pete Newsome  31:57
Well, this guy would go work four or five hours at a gym to pay bills, right? So you know when you talk about opportunity and what’s given versus earned. If your will is there you really can find a way and that’s not cliche, that’s real. 

Pete Newsome  32:18
But to hear it from someone who’s doing it now or done it recently, I think is much more impactful to somebody hearing it from us.

Pete Newsome  32:18
Versus like you or I who did it, you know, 30 years ago.

Pete Newsome  32:28
Yeah, so really neat. I’m glad you told that story. Thank you. 

Pete Newsome  32:33
So I know we could go all day. But there are a couple of things that we have to talk about. Because I think there’s so much to learn from your experience, Kathi, and one of the things in the two years you spent in Shanghai, you went over there with your family. 

Pete Newsome  32:49
So talk a little bit about that, what you did. And then I want to know what you guys learned about their culture, while you were there.

Kathi Riddle  32:58
So it was one of those amazing opportunities, where I talked about having a mentor or sponsor. And this Stephanie Young was and is still a dear friend, but also a mentor and a sponsor of mine. 

Kathi Riddle  33:14
And I was working for her at the time. And, you know, I was working in Asia. But I was doing it from here and commuting back and forth, you know, to Asia every quarter. And after doing that for about a year and a half, we were getting ready to open Shanghai, Disney. 

Kathi Riddle  33:29
And she asked me if we would go for two years, really needed people on the ground. And originally the plan was for us to go to Hong Kong because that’s where our Asia regional office was going to be. But after contemplating that for a few months, the company had decided to move the offices to Shanghai, since that’s where the park was opening. 

Kathi Riddle  33:50
And if you know anything about Hong Kong versus Shanghai, very, two very different cities. You know, one is Mainland China. The other is not Hong Kong, they speak a lot of English because of their British influence. For so many years, not much English is spoken in Shanghai, and just two very, very different, places to live. But we eventually said yes. And went over there for two years. Our children were not happy at all.

Pete Newsome  34:20
No. Not at the moment.

Kathi Riddle  34:25
Yeah, but let’s see an eighth-grader and a sixth-grader, we didn’t feel like the decision was up to them. And so we did it anyway. But you know what it was probably it’s two years that none of us especially my children will ever forget. 

Kathi Riddle  34:45
And I think if you ask them today, do they regret it? Do they love it? Are they glad we did it you know, they wish we hadn’t? They would add them out and adamantly say I’m so glad we did it. You know best maybe not the best two years of their entire life, because they’re still really young. But two really, really good.

Pete Newsome  35:04
Yeah, pretty, pretty cool years and the big scheme of things.

Kathi Riddle  35:08
Absolutely. And I think, you know, the travel that we got to do in the Asia region, the experiences that they had, the friends that they made over there, I don’t think they expected or anticipated any of it. And, you know, it’s just something though they’ll always value and certainly never forget.

Pete Newsome  35:30
So what surprised you the most about life over there? From a work perspective? You know, we’ve had many conversations about your time there. But to make it about work, what’s the big difference? If there is one?

Kathi Riddle  35:47
Yeah, so I may have told you the story before when I said yes and went over. I was leading the revenue management analytics teams in Asia, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. 

Kathi Riddle  35:58
And I had been doing that I’ve been leading revenue management analytics teams for probably 10 or 15 years at that point. And so when I was headed over, I was not worried about the work at all, like I had been doing it forever, I felt like I was a pro at it. I’m like, I got this, I know exactly what to do.

Pete Newsome  36:18
And there’s a reason why what most successful companies in the world asked you to do not only asked but paid for you to do that. So let’s say you are qualified.

Kathi Riddle  36:28
And I was totally confident in it. What I was really worried about was my family. You know, I was like, what happens if the kids start drinking, they get hooked on drugs, they hate it. My husband hates it. I’ve made this two-year commitment. And they all want to come home and after six months, I’m stuck there for the next year and a half by myself.

Pete Newsome  36:46
Yeah, your boys in rehab and off on the streets? 

Kathi Riddle  36:52
That is what I was worried about. And I could not have been more wrong, it was the exact opposite. The family did amazingly well, they thrived there and absolutely loved it. And work was way harder than I ever anticipated. And it wasn’t, the technical, like, I still knew how to do revenue management analytics, you know, inventory management, and yield forecasts, like I knew how to do all that. 

Kathi Riddle  37:19
What was different for me was the culture, you know, not having worked in an environment where the government is the majority owner of your business. And, and it’s a communist government. And, you know, you may legally be able to do something or make a decision. But when they tell you that they don’t want you to, you better not do it, or something else will happen down the line, you know.

Pete Newsome  37:43
I can’t even imagine it, how does that come down? Is it in the form of an email a letter that gets sent? Is there someone watching that?

Kathi Riddle  37:55
Contractually, Disney had the right to change ticket prices, whenever we thought that was the appropriate decision to make. And so after a year, we thought it you know, as we do, you know, in the US and some of the other sites, we thought it was a was the right time to raise the price of the tickets. 

Kathi Riddle  38:12
And in the contract, it’s legally our right to do that. But the government who is the majority shareholders that, you know, we really don’t think you should, and in a conversation, you know, multiple conversations, okay. And we knew well, I didn’t know, and this was the part that was hard for me. Mine, you know, my immediate reaction is, well, too bad. It’s in the contract.

Pete Newsome  38:36
Thank you for your input.

Kathi Riddle  38:38
Right, we have a financial plan, what targets we have to hit, this is what we’re doing. And, you know, smarter, way smarter people than me, who had been, you know, lived in Asia and lived in China for a long time. Said Kathi, that’s not how this works.

Pete Newsome  38:51
That’s not a suggestion. 

Kathi Riddle  38:55
If we go ahead with this, you know, next week, we start getting the milk delivery. And then the next week, you know, there’s a plumbing issue in the hotel, and the hotels have to shut down, you know, there will be consequences as a result of this, because the government, you know, in China controls everything we do. 

Kathi Riddle  39:15
So that piece, along with the language, you know, the language barrier. There were just, it was a lot of things like that, that made it much harder than I anticipated. You know, I was in a steering committee meeting one day, and we were going around the room and talking about, you know, different things going on or areas and the SVP of operations was sitting next to me, and he was like, well, so and so we’ll be out for the next couple of weeks. 

Kathi Riddle  39:42
He’s, you know, he’s in party school, and I’m like, he’s talking about party school. And I said you know, what, what’s this party school? Like? Is that something I should go to? 

Kathi Riddle  39:53
And he’s like, kind of it’s for the Communist Party. I don’t think you want to go to a party school. You know, there’s a lot of things like that, that were way different than I had ever experienced before, you know, doing business in China is much harder than I ever anticipated.

Pete Newsome  40:12
Sure. I mean, it doesn’t make sense that would be the case and impossible to prepare for until you have to experience it. But clearly, they’re doing things right too in some, instances, I mean, is there anything you walked away with? Saying, well, we should be more like them? And the certain area?

Kathi Riddle  40:35
Great question. 

Kathi Riddle  40:37
Yeah, I mean, I think in a lot of ways, they do know what’s best for our customers, or, you know, they do know the people better, and they do know the culture better. 

Kathi Riddle  40:51
And so what we might have thought was the right marketing campaign or the right pricing decision, we as Americans may not have been right. And because they know the markets, and the people and the culture much better. 

Kathi Riddle  41:05
So I had to give them a lot of respect for that, you know, we would have ideas that worked in the US, but they knew better that they may, you know, may or may not work in that market.

Pete Newsome  41:16

Pete Newsome  41:17
I read something the other day, and I never really thought this through before, but it may have actually been in reference to China, but it was more about the world as a whole where America is so different. 

Pete Newsome  41:28
Because we don’t have a culture, there is no American culture, there are pockets, many pockets throughout the country here where China, and most places around the world, have a Chinese culture, for better or worse, and so that, you know, homogeny exists, we’re just this is not here, at all. 

Pete Newsome  41:48
So you almost have to just approach everything differently. I mean, that sounds like once you get it, you know what they have their culture, you fully get it. But you that’s a big adjustment.

Kathi Riddle  42:01
Yes, and it takes, you know, takes a lot to learn and figure out, you don’t get a manual that explains everything on day one. 

Pete Newsome  42:11
But you were there. I mean, great experience. And the reason why I did want to ask you a couple of questions about it, but as much as anything, you were asked by your organization to do that. And you and you rose to the challenge, and maybe your family wasn’t thrilled. And your kids weren’t. 

Pete Newsome  42:34
And you did it, and do you think that making decisions like that being agreeable to do what needs to be done, I admire that greatly. 

Pete Newsome  42:44
And I think that’s something that today’s younger professional, doesn’t really see, because that’s a long term, and two years, you’re making a life decision where today, people will change jobs on a web, and you’re moving your entire life, and you couldn’t just come back from you couldn’t change your mind after. 

Pete Newsome  43:05
I mean, you could have, but it would have been an entire mess. I mean, and you didn’t even have your house to move into right, because your parents were living in there. And so, I mean, how much of that attitude has led to your success to get where you are today? I mean, it’s got to play a significant role, I would think.

Kathi Riddle  43:27
I think so I think that you know, I often wonder what would have happened if I’d said no, you know, would I still be where I am today? You know, I think so. But you don’t know that? 

Kathi Riddle  43:39
You know, a big reason I said yes was because of the person who asked me, you know, I respected my leader, and I trusted her. And I knew that she would take care of me. You know, if I said yes, she would take care of me and make sure. 

Kathi Riddle  43:57
Because I think the question is always well when it’s time for me to come home, what am I coming home to, what role am I coming into? And I trusted her to know that I would be taken care of when I came back as well. 

Kathi Riddle  44:11
So that played a big part in it. But I think and I may be naive when I say this, but my thought was saying yes, there will be rewards down the road. You know, I think the first step is saying yes, then you actually have to move and do it. And I think you have to accomplish all the things. 

Kathi Riddle  44:33
You know, I was sent over there for a handful of specific reasons. There were,  certain things that I was, you know, you must accomplish these things. And they weren’t. They weren’t insignificant tasks either. But you know, we’re sending you over to accomplish these five things and you have two years to do it. 

Kathi Riddle  44:51
So I think that was part of it, too. I happened to get all of those things done, and got them done about six months early. And so I think all of them that pull all of that together. I think it did lead you to success down the road beyond, you know, beyond those two years in Shanghai.

Pete Newsome  45:09
Why you? Why have you achieved that level through the time you’ve been there, you’ve advanced over the years, I always think of it and describe it as walking through a minefield, because that’s how it felt when I worked for corporate America, you look at the wrong person in the wrong day at the wrong time in the wrong manner. And that changes that could ruin your career there. 

Pete Newsome  45:34
And in a nutshell, I mean, immediately. And you’ve done that for a long time and advanced along the way, I wonder if it’d be fun to find out if HR could ever produce this. 

Pete Newsome  45:49
How many people have come and gone? Right? How did people start? When you did how rare it is? I’m sure you kind of has a sense for people that don’t last a long way. 

Pete Newsome  45:59
But what has been the differentiator for you? I mean, would you say that this put you on the spot in a very personal way. But there’s definitely something more than one thing? Do you have any sense of what that is? 

Pete Newsome  46:14
I think so. 

Kathi Riddle  46:16
I mean, I think early in your career, it’s probably a lot, you know, I tell people early in your career, you’re much more heavily your performance, and your evaluations are much more heavily weighted to your technical expertise. 

Kathi Riddle  46:30
And as you move through the career continuum, if you will, and the more you advance, and you become a manager, and, you know, an executive and a vice president, I feel like it’s, you know, the continuum swings, it’s less of your technical expertise, your expertise. 

Kathi Riddle  46:48
And it’s more about networking, and managing up and leading teams, it’s much more leadership skills than it’s okay. Yeah, I know how to put a p&l together. And I think I’ve been able to make that adjustment, you know, to get out of the details to elevate and, and to lead teams and make, you know, make smart decisions along the way. 

Kathi Riddle  47:10
I think it’s strategic thinking. And I think it’s networking. And I think, you know, part of networking is having those mentors and sponsors that are willing to help you along the way, they have influence, and they give you opportunities. 

Kathi Riddle  47:26
And when they give you those opportunities, you know, you’re smart enough to say yes, and take them. And, you know, I’m not sure how I’ve been able to avoid those pitfalls that get you fired, but maybe it’s just sometimes I think it’s a little bit of luck and right place, right time.

Pete Newsome  47:42
Yeah, I mean, you know, I think every successful person says that it’s to some degree, because that’s, you feel that it has to be right to some degree, or at least you feel that you have it’s a weird thing because I don’t think it’s luck at all. 

Pete Newsome  47:56
I don’t I mean, you’ve avoided bad luck, perhaps, right. I mean, I could say that, but I don’t think the inverse is necessarily true, and certainly not true for 27 years. And because you have to consistently do things right and I’m sure that’s not, want to ask you to talk about these things, but I’m sure that everything you’ve done is perfect. 

Pete Newsome  48:18
I’m sure you’ve made mistakes but because of the overall work that you’ve done and the way you’re perceived you know, that has allowed you to get past whatever those minor things may have been and so it’s not luck.

Kathi Riddle  48:32
No something else I think is paid I think it’s believing in yourself. Especially as a female I have had a number of leaders throughout my career journey says no, you shouldn’t apply for that role or no you shouldn’t you know, don’t be interested in that you’re never gonna get it or you can interview for the interview experience but you’re right you know, you’re not gonna get that job. 

Kathi Riddle  48:58
And I think having you know, confidence in yourself and taking risks, and not listening to the naysayers is a big part of it as well.

Pete Newsome  49:08
Yeah, you beat me to it. 

Pete Newsome  49:10
One of the things that weren’t going to definitely want to talk about Shanghai and I definitely wanted to ask you, you know, for any young women that are listening. 

Pete Newsome  49:19
What challenges, if any, or what advice you would give to someone because as you are giving advice to young people, but on a generically, if you will, or to a broad audience, what would you say to young women who want to navigate and I’ll continue to say minefield of corporate America to rise to a high level of success.

Kathi Riddle  49:43
I think you have to believe in yourself. That you are just as smart and just as good because you’re a female because you’re a mom, and you’ve got you to know kid responsibilities at home. You can do anything that any of your colleagues can do. 

Kathi Riddle  50:02
Now, I think it helps if you have a good support system at home, you know, whether it’s childcare or your spouse is supportive, you know, I was fortunate to have all of that. And so I never felt like I had anything that was holding me back at home or in my personal life. 

Kathi Riddle  50:19
So I could say yes to any opportunity because I was set up for success. Sadly, I don’t think all women have that. But I think that makes a huge difference in your career. If you feel like you can say yes to whatever opportunity comes your way. 

Pete Newsome  50:36
Yeah, it’d be nearly impossible to be the best version of yourself as an employee if you had to prioritize other things constantly. And yeah, that has to be part of the deal at home to some degree. And you’re right. Not everyone has it, maybe not even most people, people can have that. It’s very fortunate. 

Pete Newsome  50:57
I’m fortunate to have that. And that’s the discussion that comes up regularly or I think about regularly that, thank goodness because if I was constantly having to choose between work or the kids, I couldn’t be as successful as I would otherwise be.

Pete Newsome  51:15
I think that’s a given. But you’re right. I think for society and our culture, that burden falls on women a lot. And I don’t even know if it’s unjust. So I think it’s just how we evolved as a society. 

Pete Newsome  51:28
But I think it’s awesome advice, is someone who is looking out for the future, and you think that’s changing? Do you think that it was as we evolve as a society and work virtually more that those things will be easier to overcome?

Kathi Riddle  51:47
I hope so, you know, during the two years, or two years plus of COVID, we’re all working from home, I remember thinking, gosh, that would have been so much easier to be able to work from home like this when my kids were little, you know, when they were, babies or, you know, toddlers or whatever. 

Kathi Riddle  52:04
Obviously, you got to have childcare at home, that kind of thing can’t be on zoom with the kids screaming in the background. 

Kathi Riddle  52:09
But I do think it’s getting better. I do think it’s changing. But I also think more women leaders like me, need to do more. You know, I didn’t, I had some great mentors and sponsors along my career journey, but they were mostly later on in my career. 

Kathi Riddle  52:28
And it’s a big reason why I mentor these students, you know, at Oklahoma State and the University of Alabama, particularly females because I think we have a responsibility to do more earlier on in people’s careers to help them.

Pete Newsome  52:43
Yeah, that makes sense. And so I’m glad you were able to get to share that you know, for what it’s worth is I’ve been around your kids and their activities pretty regularly over the last 10 years.

Pete Newsome  52:59
You’ve been as present as any other parent. 

Pete Newsome  53:02
And so I think that’s something that you won’t say but I think is worth saying in this context that even though you’ve been able to do everything you need to and want to do to make work to maximize your opportunity with your profession. 

Pete Newsome  53:16
You haven’t had to sacrifice publicly. I’m sure you have. But you’ve certainly been very very present along the way.

Kathi Riddle  53:24
Well, thank you for saying that. My parents owned their own businesses. I think I shared that with you when I was growing up and they weren’t able to be present very much. And I became you know independent at a very young age. 

Kathi Riddle  53:38
And I always respected how hard they worked I think I got my work ethic from them but at the same time when I grew up, you know how can you be part of corporate America for so long? 

Kathi Riddle  53:51
Like, I think you said that you could never do that. For me it was, I wanted that stability I wanted to be able to take a sick day or vacation day and not sacrifice income so that I could be there for my children because growing up I can’t my parents didn’t have that luxury.

Kathi Riddle  54:09
They couldn’t take that time off to be with us when there was something important or special going on and because you know they were the owners the operators they were everything and I wanted to work differently when I became an adult

Pete Newsome  54:26
Well from the outside and even, I think I’m pretty close to the inside it did have been at times you’ve done it right and you’ve done it really well and you know I think your kids have had an excellent mentor themselves over that time to watch so and emulate if they can write it without feeling too compelled or too much pressure to do it immediately.

Kathi Riddle  54:50
Well, yours as well. You know you’ve done your own thing and you’ve been a great example for your children too.

Pete Newsome  54:57
Sometimes It depends on the day. Well, Kathi, I want to ask you one more question. So have you found career zen?

Kathi Riddle  55:09
Oh, at times, there have been, you know, moments and periods of time in my career where I would say, yes, you know, what one I can think, you know, one business trip to Paris, and I’m having a croissant and a latte looking at Notre Dame and that was Korea. I was there on a business trip. 

Kathi Riddle  55:31
That was career zen and you know, I think there are times in your career or periods, maybe it’s days, maybe it’s months, whatever it is, where you have career zen and I’ve certainly I’ve had that. 

Kathi Riddle  55:45
I don’t know that it’s constant, because I think leaders change you’re, you know, you change jobs. The environment, you know, that you work in changes, you know, is constantly changing. And so I think I go through, like, you know, peaks and valleys when it comes to career zen.

Pete Newsome  56:05
Well, you’re not done yet either. Right? I mean, you know, when we talk about ambition, I think you probably have just as many now still things that you want to achieve and accomplish as you ever have. 

Pete Newsome  56:17
And I think we have that in common. And because I asked everyone that question now, and I think about it constantly, and I haven’t found career zen but it to me, it means being satisfied, and not having that desire to accomplish more and I’m not even close. 

Pete Newsome  56:45
So we saw each other Sunday night with a group of friends because we went to a concert and it was a bunch of 80s bands, Joan Jett, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Poison, it was a great night without question. And there were multiple times throughout the night, I would watch these singers who at one point were as famous as anyone in America. 

Pete Newsome  57:08
And they achieved the peak of their profession. But that was 35 to 40 years ago. 

Pete Newsome  57:15
And I kept thinking, I was kind of sad for him. And you know, not just because Vince Neil is no longer Benson the old way, remember, and it doesn’t look the same, but I was thinking, gosh, you know, even though they’re, it’s easy to envy the lives that they’ve had, and the fame and fortune they’ve had, but they’ve probably been chasing it attempting to stay at that level, where it’s really they started at a young age, relatively speaking, you know, they peaked, and it’s kind of all been downhill trying to get back. 

Pete Newsome  57:46
And it’s there’s no chance virtually right, they’re gonna get back to, you know, at the top of the charts and all that stuff. And I don’t know why that popped into my head. 

Pete Newsome  57:55
But once it did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. You know, for many of us, you know, even though we’ve done it a long time, there’s still a lot more to accomplish, and I’m thankful for that.

Kathi Riddle  58:07
Yeah, that’s a great point. My husband’s area that you know, very well, we talked about that a lot, especially with professional or college athletes. You know, as an athlete, you get to that peak, you know, his was in college, and you get hurt, or you cut from a team or whatever your end is, there’s an end. 

Kathi Riddle  58:30
And for most, most athletes, like, you know, rock stars, it’s at a relatively young age. And I mean, gosh, look at Tim Tebow. How many times has he tried to come back? Right? And yes, they can’t. 

Kathi Riddle  58:46
And we talk a lot about, you know, whether it’s CTE that causes it, but a lot of them become depressed because they’re, you know, they’re constantly chasing that adrenaline and that feeling of being on top, you know, TED talks about you run out into the field, and there are 100,000 people in the stadium and they’re all screaming your name.

Pete Newsome  59:08
And that’s not a normal thing. Very few people get to experience that and yeah, most of us like me, go I can only imagine how that would feel tonight, but I know it’d be pretty awesome. 

Pete Newsome  59:25
It’s so interesting. But yeah, the good news is, and I just had this discussion the other day he’s like, hey, there are things that I want to go do. I want to do I’m like, and we’re all just over 50, and that used to sound pretty old, but it doesn’t sound old to me at all and the conversation I had with him was about how he sounded.

Pete Newsome  59:47
So he was excited about hey, there’s just want to go accomplish it achieve things, and actually it was that entered my mind too because you guys were there at the concert and thinking these poor guys out there with their spandex on I was almost embarrassed for him to some degree. 

Kathi Riddle  1:00:05
What is next for them yeah, what does success look like.

Pete Newsome  1:00:09
They’re way cooler than I could ever be still at that age but I’m thinking man you know I’m glad I’m not you, this kind of thing where the rest of us still have so much ahead.

Kathi Riddle  1:00:26
I think we have there, still, mountains we can climb and goals we can achieve and that are even higher or you know we can be even achieved even more successful than we have already. Whereas people like yeah, Motley Crue.

Pete Newsome  1:00:48
When the lead singer looks nothing like himself and the drummer, you know, wasn’t able to draw it to play more than a few songs because of some injury. I mean, if that’s not the most over the hill, so I think we can end there.

Pete Newsome  1:01:04
I am so thankful that you’re willing to take the time to come on today, given how busy you are. But it is your journey and your path over so long. 

Pete Newsome  1:01:18
You really are an inspiration and I’m so glad to hear that you’re taking the time to share and help young people because you’re exactly who we need to look up to and try to emulate.

Pete Newsome  1:01:33
So thanks so much for sharing your story. 

Kathi Riddle  1:01:36
Absolutely, I enjoyed it, this was fun. 

Pete Newsome  1:01:38
Awesome. Well, we’ll do it again that’s for sure. So Kathi, thank you so much and thanks for listening today everyone, drive safe and we will talk again soon.